So yesterday was our first-ever seminar solely for agents of NCAA and NFL coaches, the Franklin Capital Strategies Coaches Agent Seminar presented by Texas Interventional Orthopedics.

Actually, it really wasn’t a seminar; it was a limited-participation morning with our three panelists, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post (formerly ESPN); Doug Whaley, Sr. V.P. of Football Operations for the XFL (and formerly with the Steelers and Bills); and perhaps the top name in the coach search firm business, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • While there’s a lot of energy associated with representing players, the real interest is in working with coaches. The problem is, no one has nailed down the business model. Joe told the story of one assistant coach who dangles the prospect of 10 percent of his first-year salary to any agent who can get him a job as head coach of a specific team. In this way, he sends droves of hungry agents out to work for him without locking himself into an agent who may or may not always burn the midnight oil.
  • Doug said the key to getting a job in today’s world is knowing the trends. One thing he said was that in the old days, trends trickled down from the NFL. That’s not true today. College football is undergoing a renaissance, and the most imaginative offenses are not in New Orleans or Kansas City but in Oklahoma and Texas Tech (hence Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury). Therefore, to get a job in the NFL with a progressive team, it’s advantageous to have an association with one of the hotter programs in the NCAA, even if you’re on the personnel side.
  • Also from Doug: When he was with the Bills, he and his staff conducted a review of all coaches in the NFL just in case the team needed to fill a vacancy on the fly. We hear a lot about breaking down the draft, and even scouting active NFL players, but who knew teams actively scouted and evaluated coaches.
  • What’s the first thing an agent negotiates for a coach? His salary, of course. However, once the salary is set, it’s time for the benefits. Country club memberships. Private jet hours. A car for the coach’s wife. Luxury box access. You might think that a coach getting paid millions of dollars wouldn’t worry about these things, but that’s not the point. The point is, a good agent sets it up so that they don’t have to. If you want to rep coaches, you better be prepared to do the same.

Still curious about what was said and heard at our first-ever seminar for agents of coaches? We got you. Reach out to our title sponsor, Paul Franklin of Franklin Capital Strategies, by any of these methods.